The Best Time for Japanese Car Fans

Nowadays the car scene is much different from even just 15 years ago, there is’s many legitimate reasons for this, which I will discuss later in this post. But! At one point, if you were a fan of Japanese cars you would probably me loving what exciting new cars were coming out and amazed at how many separate high performance models you could choose from.

What happened since then to change all this? In this post I’ll be talking about some reasons why things changed but also showing how great the cars of the 90s era were and some of my favorites.

A lot of this post is my own personal opinions but I have researched a good amount in to this and feel free to leave any comments below of your own opinions, I would love to hear them.

Fuel Prices and the Decline of the Sports Car

This did not just affect Japanese cars obviously, but as more expensive vehicles from Germany and Italy seemed to carry on, it showed the market that a lot of Japanese cars were aiming for was hit hard. In the late 90s the sports car market was shrinking, the extra fuel and other associated costs meant they just didn’t sell as many as they used to. Manufacturers with a more premium feeling niche seemed to be less affected. If the customers buying them obviously have more money to spend then the extra cost in fuel doesn’t really mean as much to them and the strange advantage of “sports cars” that aren’t the stereotypical design had another advantage, as diesel engine and turbo technology advanced, the idea of diesel sports cars became normal and could escape high fuel bills for this reason, as long as they had the image of a sports car, the market didn’t care too much, they could even be based on normal economy car platforms and the buyers would still buy them up (Audi tt) The “purer” sports cars however cost more to develop in comparison without sharing an existing platform and since the driving experience mattered more to sports cars, a diesel option just wouldn’t work as well, imagine a diesel Mazda RX7, Honda NSX or Toyota MR2.

What survived was the mx5, mk3 mr2, rx8, 350z and although I know it’s Korean but the Hyundai Coupe. Overall the market had to adapt to a less serious idea of sports car.

Modern Emission Limits

The modern EU limit in 2020 is now 95g of CO2 per kilometer (average), which is amazingly low compared to what the majority of cars were putting out even 10 years ago. This ever stricter limit does end up pushing manufacturers to all use whichever design engine is most suited to meeting these limits, which as the trends go seems to be turbo-charged cars as they have the potential if driven carefully to meet this and obtain good fuel efficiency. Back in 2012 the limit of 130grams of CO2 per kilometer was being phased in, but how many modern hot hatches for example use turbo 2.0 4 cylinders compared to the late 90s when you could see massive vr6 engined Golfs to the same powered 1.6 vtec Civics or 2.0 turbo Nissan Pulsars, the range of engines with overall similar performance was massive compared to modern cars, you could even buy a v6 Renault Clio! Or a 2.0 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution had similar performance to 8.0 Dodge Viper!

I’m not saying any design was better or worse than the other as they each have advantages and disadvantages in many ways. As well I am not saying that I don’t care about emissions, I think the high powers need to know how serious keeping the planet sustainable and healthy is the most important thing but some times real world figures aren’t reflected 100% by the new rules, look at how diesels were the “new bad thing” for a couple years until we changed are mind again and regarding fuel consumption, my 20 year old Daihatsu Cuore was a cheap car back when it was new and still is, without all this new technology on the engine and even a second o2 sensor, I still get over 60mpg on a long drive, how many modern petrols can achieve that? The real world progress of fuel consumption hasn’t approved massively and at one point in America even got worse.

Amazing Ideas

You could buy an affordable car like a mk2 Toyota mr2 turbo that could out accelerate a Ferrari to 60mph. The performance on a lot of Japanese cars back then was incredible, considering the price and actual output of the cars, even more incredible. The Japanese definitely had an advantage, you could buy an estate car like a Subaru Impreza that could keep up with pretty much any super car. Technology and innovation that went in to the cars coming from Japan was years ahead of most of the other countries, Take a look at all the records set by cars like the NSX and mk4 Supra, then look at the price compared to more exotic super cars.

Imagine in 2020 if Subarus Legacy could keep up with BMW M3s never mind an Impreza. There’s so many other examples of cars that you couldn’t see being made like that today, a high performance rotary engined rx7 or a Mitsubishi that had the power, luxury and technology as the 3000GT.

The Problem of Brand Image

In general most people think of German cars as premium vehicles and (other than the last half decade) Korean or other Asian cars and cheap economy car, even if the cheaper cars tend to use less fuel and do better in reliability tests, but as the plastics aren’t as nice then who cares about the important things anyway. Japanese manufacturers originally were looked at in the same way the KIA/Hyundai brand was, so in the UK anyway all fairly new and with something to prove and usually cheaper than a similar spec rival.

Japanese car overall tend to be very functional cars for doing the fundamental roles of what a car should be, affordable is one of them fundamentals so being exclusive and upmarket isn’t a connotation of most Japanese car manufactures.

As sports cars and super cars became faster and faster, even base sports cars demanded a fairly high price and as the performance was so attainable, many luxury extras came fairly standard and ended up being coupe looking saloons in the end like the Audi A5 or BMW 4 series, and a lot cheaper to develop since they share so many parts from existing models. This idea meant that the like of Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi couldn’t really compete as they would never have the same appeal to buyers as most of them to be honest just want a fast, sporty looking luxury saloon. This was an extra challenge as well as the other negative issues of making sports cars in modern times to the Japanese so the market declined more than the rivals like Mercedes-Benz.

The idea that each new model must be bigger, faster and have more accessories than the last model some times gets rid of the idea behind the original concept, on the other side of that, it does make each new model seem an improvement though which sells cars. Manufacturers like Daihatsu though don’t follow that closely though as for example each new small car the release is as small as the last, but for reasons like this they don’t sell well in places outside of Asia.


Eventually as the decedents of older models become so far from what the original concept was, a gap in the market usually appears. Recently this has happened to the sports car market, the only true sports cars left was the Porsche Cayman and Boxter, the Mazda mx5 and the Toyota GT86 (Subaru/Scion). Other than the Boxter and the mx5, they are relatively new models though, so hoping this continues with more sports cars making a comeback too!

The main thing restricting manufacturers from making sports cars is the emissions limits, the fines they would face just wouldn’t make most cars profitable and in the end it’s all about money. With advancements in turbos, engine management, exhaust emission control and electric motors, 200hp is pretty easy to make, so maybe the smaller sports cars will end up sneaking below the emission restrictions.

There is so many fans of the 90s Japanese sports car era and good examples of them cars now can sell for way over there is original value, proving how much car enthusiasts care about them, it would be good to see manufacturers release models to get the enthusiasts interested again. 

Once again please leave a comment if you have anything to ad or ask me! Thanks


Small and slightly irrelevant post to this website, but thought i’d give it a shot anyway!

For my own AW11 mr2, i bought a job lot of parts, i have kept that bits i need for my car and some carpets for a friends car. The rest is no use to me, although i hate throwing out hard to get parts, i have little storage space so cannot keep them all for ever.

If there is anyone out there looking for any mk1 mr2 parts then give me a comment and i will see i have it in stock and give you a price that would be hard to beat! Other than that i will give you my contact details if that is easier and can sort out a deal from there on. Would be a shame to scrap so many parts so looking to sell them on to as many mr2 enthusiasts as possible! Many thanks.

MR2 Oil Leak – Internal oil leaks explained

Oil leaks can be a difficult problem at the best of times, especially with a mid-engined car like the Toyota mr2 were access and visibility is restricted. Even harder can be when the oil is leaking inside the engine in to one of the combustion chambers, figuring that out cant be an exact science but there are certain ways to give you an idea of what is going on ranging from when the exhaust is smoking to what Colour the exhaust smoke is.

Colour of the exhaust smoke

This is more to tell you if it is actually oil that is leaking and being burned. When oil has entered the combustion chamber and been burned and sent back through the exhaust pipe it comes out as a blue-ish Colour. If the smoke is black this means the mixture is too rich, do not instantly presume that it means the car is adding extra fuel as it’s only relative to the oxygen content, so too little air would also cause smoke this Colour. That could be as simple as an old, blocked air filter. Another is thick white smoke that does not disperse as quickly as steam would, this could indicate coolant being leaked in the cylinders, on rare occasions heavy white smoke can mean improper burning of fuel sometimes caused by the wrong fuel or extremely low compression (mainly diesels) and comes out the exhaust looking similar to steam but very thick and heavy. Steam itself is normal to come out the exhaust, especially after just running it on a cold morning and looks like, well steam!

When does it smoke?

If it smokes bad after the engine has been sitting for a while then slowly gets better, that would point to oil being able to leak downwards in to the cylinder or intake while it’s not running. This allows it to collect in or around a cylinder and ready to be burned once the engine is started, giving off the blue smoke. This dies down afterwords as the leak could be small and only enough to give off enough smoke if it’s been allowed to sit for a while. Make sense?

Another similar time it could be leaking from the same areas would cause it to smoke when slowing down and low throttle or off throttle. The main areas for oil to leak from the top is valve seals and valve guides, so when there is low throttle there is a higher vacuum to suck the oil through faster than when on throttle or could then allow oil to be burned next time throttle is applied.

Omitting blue smoke when under high load is more likely to be as a result of worn piston rings or to be more exact, the oil control ring which usually sits the lowest on the piston. Sometimes, and in most cases, this means taking the engine a part so new ones can be fitted which can be a long or expensive job if you are paying for someone to do the job for you. On the better side of things, the oil control rings can some times be gummed up with carbon and oil deposits, this can be removed without stripping any parts. Some methods of this can be done with pouring a little diesel down the spark plug holes or using specific fluids for the job which also claim to free up the gunk, to a point this works but not always 100% effective.

Some of these special formulas can be purchased here! Go have a look and give them a try! 

 Marvel Mystery Oil


Remember to read for specific instructions for each product on the bottle, also when adding fluids down the spark plug holes make sure the plugs are removed, allowed to sit for a good 48 hours with turning over the engine by hand ideally every so often, once fluid has gone from top of pistons crank the engine over without allowing it to start to be safe (disconnect injectors etc), then let the engine start up and clear itself up. A good idea would be to change the oil after this as well!

PCV Valve Stuck Open

This is were the PCV is not operating properly and out of all these problems, probably the one you would want as it’s a much cheaper, easier and quicker fix. If it is burning oil and the PCV valve is the problem, it will most likely be stuck open, allowing oil vapor to be constantly sucked through in to the inlet and burned by the engine in the normal combustion process. To fix this you should only need to replace the PCV valve and all should be fine!

Tips for Stopping Oil Leaks?

Any other tips or advice you have for this, please let me know in the comment section! Always helps to know what other people are doing with these problems and how they have got on. As well as any interesting stories you have of these kinds of problems I would love to hear! I like a good read on these things 🙂


Drive Shifty – MR2 Brother from Youtube

Drive Shifty

Well its been around 6 months for me exploring the online world of marketing and the “car scene” niche and now is time to expand and carry on with world domination.

A YouTube channel is something I’ve always been told would be useful to visually show the work that goes on here at sw20 modified HQ. But… as I live hundreds of miles from the main workshop and the majority of the mr2s we deal with and look after, its unrealistic to get enough content myself from the work. So I have teamed up with a great friend and colleague that already has his own YouTube channel ” DRIVE SHIFTY ”

Any regular visitor to this site will recognise his car as it regularly appears in the photos and the workshop. Currently we plan to both have separate individual content and also share content for Drive Shifty and sw20Modified, so keep an eye on both to catch everything that goes on! All goes right and big things should be on the way!

So while i sort out the job of properly linking the website and YouTube channel together, please click the link below and check out Drive Shifty.

Any ideas to help us create exciting new content let us know and comment below!

Toyota MR2 MK1 – Journey so far

OK, so this website is called “sw20modified” and a mk1 is a not an sw20 but I feel the need to post something new other than another product review to keep it interesting. Over this post I will go over how my mr2 is doing and the plans it has for the future.

Buying it

Well, it began as I was ideally looking for a van, then got massively distracted and ended up choosing between a Suzuki Cappuccino and the mr2. Both of which I would never recommend as a vehicle to use as a van! But i am young and dumb so ended up purchasing the 1984 mr2 for £1500 back in October 2016 with around 104000 miles (yes progress has been slow)

I was so excited about buying it, that I didn’t even check much and had to borrow a trailer to get it back to Scotland. The main reasons not for driving it though were the seized rear brakes, leaking engine coolant and the fact it has set for around 10 years, so nothing major in terms of work but many fluid changes would be safe to do first.

Other than that, it was so far just a car that I probably should have haggled the price on a bit, not great value but not a terrible deal anyway.

First Inspection of My New Car

With all cars I buy, unless there’s good proof of previous work, I like to give it a good service and once over for peace of mind. Even with the awkward mid engined layout these cars are fairly easy to work on coming from a simpler time. Cambelt kit, water pump, engine oil/ filter flushed, cleaned out and renewed, other filters changed, cooling system given a massive clean with vinegar (which really does the job amazingly, is cheap and evaporates out the system easily to remove) then replaced the rubber hoses with a new kit then obviously the seized rear brakes got new calipers, disks and pads.

This got it at least roadworthy for the time being without spending a huge amount of time or money on it. This gave me a bit of time to enjoy it until starting to look more in to the car for more expensive or serious problems. Not really the best way to do things admittedly but life is for living and I wanted some fun out the car at least!

After the MOT Runs Out

At this point I wasn’t in the position to have any benefit of it being on the road or the position that I wanted to spend extra money on, tax and insurance so I put it on a SORN and had began stripping the interior of the car as even as this was not a T-bar model they are still known or leaking and even then finding some rust on a 34-year-old Toyota would not be a surprise.

After removing the seats, carpets and linings there was quite a few small spots behind the drivers seat and down along the sill but nothing to major other than a what turned out to be a rather large hole just before the pedals on the drivers side foot well. Some crusty patches along the roof to sort and nothing much more to worry about there.

THE FRUNK THOUGH! I knew about this before as it was immediately clear but in short the previous owner seemed to of left the brake fluid reservoir cap off and a lot had spilled over to sit in the frunk floor and rot through it. I had noticed this as I bought it and had it “fixed” by a welder but this ended up more being the rusty metal being taken out and a flat section stuck on the bottom, it did the job but it wasn’t tidy or nice to look at.

Arches and sills surprisingly good, only thing to mention here was the nearside rear arch had a previous repair that needs doing again but actual rust was minimal. The bottoms of the A-pillars on both sides however did show signs of corrosion as well as were around the bonnet hinges near the corners of the windscreen.

While doing some unrelated work, taking a cross member off at the front and then the front anti-roll bar off the captive nuts inside the chassis snapped off which is a common thing on these cars and then usually involves cutting open a part of the chassis to get the once captive nut n=and either welding it back in and welding the cut back up or just using threaded inserts instead. I noticed that I did not need to cut open the chassis as at each side there was some nice rusty holes exactly were I needed to access, while technically this was handy it was another place to add on to the list of work.

As my car is stored at my parents house, 3.5 hours drive away this work takes some time to get through but now is under way! Slowly.

Upgrades to the MR2

I decided to freshen up the springs and damper inserts on each corner whilst I had the chance to get some dampers free off “my boss who isn’t actually my boss but gives me a large percentage of my work so kind of my boss” person and a set of springs from the interwebs.

New drop links and anti-roll bars were ordered but the mk1B set came which i am yet to figure out if they are interchangeable so is still a job to complete with new rubber bushes all round.

New front brakes aren’t needed to be honest but would help plus some proper wheels and tyres (195/50/15 on 15×7 et35) is also on the shopping list. Then boom! Ready for an MOT with no advisories, maybe.

The Other Issue

The other expensive part is the paint work, and as it seems to be a non-standard pearlescent paint and with new different colored doors, it is an issue. But this is something I plan on learning later on and doing myself or with help and will have a write up on here once completed or maybe even a video on it too!

Any questions or advice for me please leave me a comment below!

Many thanks 🙂

How to Read OBD Codes – mr2 sw20

Engine management light

Overall Toyota MR2’s are actually quite reliable but of course they have their problems as any car does. They have a very early OBD system but can manually be read. I’m sure some of you may have seen a post about common problems with SW20 mr2s but I wrote that more than information to someone thinking of buying a mr2. This post shall have a little more depth and aimed at someone who already owns a mr2 and is looking to solve a problem with their car.

How to Read Fault Codes

Fault codes (otherwise known as diagnostic trouble codes) are generated when receives and abnormal or not possible signal from a sensor. These codes are remembered and can cause the EML (engine management light) to illuminate. Each code represents each problem signal from each sensor, but as the mr2 was built for different markets, some different models have a few different codes.

Modern cars use what is known as “OBD2” which allows you to connect a diagnostic tool to the OBD port and read each code from the tool itself. Older cars do not have this but some have a similar set up.OBD scanner tool

How to read fault codes

The fault codes can be extracted from the ecu by linking to terminals TE1 and E1 of the diagnostic connector (offside rear part of the engine bay) to each other, whilst the ignition is completely off. If you don’t known which terminals these are there is a diagram on the cap of the connector, if you have lost this, leave a comment and I will explain which terminals are TE1 and E1.

Then switch the key to ignition 2 (the second position or one before cranking the engine). This should cause the EML to flash, if this flashing is continuous and steady then, good news! It means you have no known fault codes.

The fault codes exist as two numbers (e.g 39 or 57). If you do have one of these it will cause the same light to blink a certain number of times, relative to the number, then a pause then blink again for the next number. As it is possible for more than one fault code to be stored at the same time it will give an extra long pause before flashing again for the next fault code.

Watching and counting the flashes allows you get the number of each fault code and then look up what each one means. Not all car models have the same codes that mean the same thing, but after some research on the internet I have found a rough guide to most fault codes for the mr2.

Some Code NumbersEngine Management Light

Codes — Item

2/31 Inhalation pipe pressure meter

3/14 Ignition indicator (except cars with DLI, DRD)

3/14 Ignition indicator (for cars with DLI, DRD)

4/22 Water leak indicator

5/21 Dx indicator

6/12-3 Tachometer

7/41 Throttle position sensor (cars with linear sensor)

8/24 Inhalation temperature sensor

9/42 Speedometer

10/43 STA indicator

11/51 Switch

11 +B (except cars with step motor type ISCV)

11 +B (for cars with Step motor type ISCV)

23 Evaporator temperature indicator

31,32 Air flow meter (except cars with carman whirlpool air flow meter)

31 Air flow meter (for cars for carman meter)

32 Atmospheric pressure meter (7M-GTEU)

33 ISCV meter

34 Circulation pressure supply

31 Circulation pressure supply

35 Turbo pressure sensor

52,53 Knock indicator (sensor)

54 Intercooler

01 Data communication

These may not all be correct but just what I could find after searching for the codes online to use as a guide.

How to delete fault codes

Once you read your fault codes and hopefully later fixed your cars problem, they can be deleted so the EML will no longer light up. To do this you can either remove the EFI fuse for a few seconds from the fuse box near the battery or even disconnect your negative cable from the battery for a short amount of time. This should reset and get rid of any old stored codes.

Any help or questions?

Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or advise 🙂






Performance Exhaust Reviews – Toyota MR2 SW20

Mr2 Turbo

Another exciting upgrade for your project car!

A fresh new exhaust can completely change the sound of your car from how loud it is to any volume and the tone as well, not only this it can change the look of your car and even give you a fair bit of performance increase and even efficiency. This is definitely one of the most exciting but simple upgrades you can do to your car.

Things To Think About FiMr2 Turborst

Before I start writing up on a specific product I just want to say, that like most other aftermarket parts, there’s no real right or wrong part that applies to everyone.

Some one looking for a really loud big diameter exhaust or someone just wanting an exhaust to get the most power out of their car will be looking for a different exhaust to an owner who just wants a nice looking stainless steel system that looks nice and adds a small sporty sound the engine. So make sure you know what you want before you buy, especially as these can cost up to £700 in some cases.

Another factor to look in to is were you want your car to be in terms of performance later on. Performance exhausts are designed to have fewer restrictions than standard systems, this mostly comes in to effect at high revs or if your engine has been modified to try to produce more power so is pushing out more gas, this is were you will really see the benefits of a performance exhaust system. There should still be performance gains with a stock engine and performance exhaust but the difference should be smaller and mostly at time when the engine is under high load or high revs. This is something to bear in mind.

Remus Rear Silencer


Oddly and embarrassingly I had never heard much of Remus before.

Turns out that they are the worlds number one when it comes to manufacturing performance exhaust systems and export to over 60 countries worldwide, so this is no small cheap manufacturer for sure!

A little bit of background on Remus and the product they sell for the MR2 SW20. They were established in 1990 so have been about a while now and done well in that time.

The system they supply for the mr2 mk2 n/a is;

TUV approved (basically this is a European auditing and certification body that ensures the products meet certain regulations)

Build to high standards using high grade stainless steel

Uses heat-resistant black ceramic paint

2 x tailpipes 92x78mm dimensions

Designed in a purpose built acoustic room to test the sound of the exhaust on each car they use

The fitment of this exhaust is for n/a models and have options to allow you fit this product to vehicles that have catalytic converters or earlier models without. (Check before you purchase in the details)

Place to buy! HERE

Stock Exhaustmr2 turbo red


As I realize you could be reading this but actually just looking for a replacement for an old stock system or even if your current exhaust is just too loud and you want to go back to stock, I shall include a stock replacement product here.

Nowadays you can still pick up a new stock exhaust system for less than £200, making it the cheapest option by far. The example I have linked to in this post here is compatible with all n/a 3s engine cars and should be an easy direct fit.

Despite being a stock system, the standard MR2 exhaust does give a sporty, clean look with twin 4.5cm pipes, one at each side of the car with a quiet but still giving a sporty hint to the sound as well.

This system would not normally last as long as the stainless steel options, but with the proper care this could easily last years and years before any corrosion.

The Best place to buy! HERE

Mongoose Cat-Back MR2 2.0 N/A


Another shiny after-market performance product. This Mongoose exhaust system comes in slightly cheaper than the Remus system.

Although cheaper this is still a serious performance product, manufactured from high quality T304 stainless steel and – reading from the product sale page, comes with Mongoose’s lifetime guarantee.

As stated this is a “cat-back system” which means it is everything after the catalytic converter, in the direction the exhaust gas flows.

Pipe diameter 51mm

Tail pipe diameter 2×3″ Slash cut / 2×3.5″ rolled in

On my first ever mr2 (a 1989 mk1) I actually bought a mongoose system for it, although obviously different from a mk2 if its anything to go by, I can say it seemed like a very good quality product and was louder and sportier than stock but nowhere near as loud as “boy-racer loud” type exhausts if you get what I mean.

The Best place to buy! HERE

Before I Endmr2 n/a blue

Just a quick thing to say, make sure understand what model of car etc you have properly before purchasing any as well as the fitment of the product you wish to purchase, check all the details first!

Any more advice on what you guys think I should write next please leave a comment or other exhausts you think I should include on this post let me know! I could only find affiliate links for these 3 which was actually a surprise and much harder than I thought to come across, otherwise I would have liked to include many more manufacturers to compare and in more detail.

Thanks again 🙂 Feel free to leave a comment





High Performance Exhaust Systems – How They Work

Ever wondered how performance exhausts work and if its worth paying for high performance exhaust systems and when or if they will give any real performance upgrades or just a nice look and sporty sound? This content should explain the majority of the ideas that go in to making a sports exhaust system.

Looking for a new exhaust for your MR2? Check my product comparison here.

Back Pressure

There are many opinions on this, but from reading in to this from good sources (rather than just removed a silencer on their Civic, found it slower than instantly concluded that you need back pressure) I can tell you, back pressure is not needed.

Back pressure is created from restrictions in the exhaust, whether that be from certain silencers or kinks/bends in the pipe or the exhaust pipe size itself.

As the piston is pushing out exhaust gasses from the combustion chamber, the restrictions build pressure with the gasses in front of them, this makes it harder to exhaust all the gas from the cylinder and do it quickly.

The size of the exhaust pipe can change this by the diameter used for the piping. If the exhaust pipe diameter is too small then it will struggle to get all the gas through it, especially at high engine speeds and load. This does not mean that a massive diameter exhaust will work though.

By removing this back pressure you will make the engine more efficient and create more power as it doesn’t need to work against itself to push the exhaust gas out and with more gas out it can create more room for the fresh air/fuel mixture on the intake stroke.

Exhaust Scavenging

Exhaust scavenging shows a problem that comes up when you use an exhaust pipe diameter that is too large.

As you increase the diameter of the piping, you allow more gas to travel through in the same space of time. This creates a problem by…

The exhaust gas comes out the engine in pulses, each after the exhaust stroke. At the front of each pulse is a high pressure area which decreases behind it. This decrease in pressure behind the pulse is useful as it can be used as a vacuum to suck out any remaining gas.

Using a large pipe here will slow down these pulses, whereas a smaller pipe would mean the pulse would have to travel at a higher velocity and have a higher pressure differential behind the pulse and suck out more remaining gas in comparison to a very large pipe.

This idea can be taken advantage of in multiple cylinder engines as a pulse from one cylinder can be used to suck out the gas from the next firing cylinder with clever manifold design.

It’s a bit of a balance trying to get the ideal size of exhaust to achieve high velocity gasses and low restrictions.

Twin Exit Exhaust (my actual car 😀 )



The idea behind anti-reversion is that as the exhaust stroke is nearing an end and the intake valve begins to open, fresh charge will only enter the cylinder if the pressure is lower than in the intake manifold, and if the case is opposite then exhaust gas could flow from cylinder to the intake manifold in the reverse direction as intended.

The exhaust system can be designed to reduce this effect by using a taper to go from a smaller diameter to a larger diameter exhaust soon after the valve as this makes gas easier to let out but creates a restriction on coming back in, same with the intake but in the opposite way, it will create a restriction on gases flowing in the reverse direction to reduce them going out the intake valve but not a restriction to the gasses going from the intake to the cylinder.

Resonators and Silencers

There are two main types of exhaust silencers, these are baffles and straight through types.

The baffle type is a box the contains a number of baffles, this interrupts the exhaust flow as well as the sound carried with it. As most aftermarket exhausts are built for performance, usually only stock exhaust systems use these types of silencer as they have a desire to emit the exhaust gas as quickly as possible.

The straight through type uses is a larger pipe around a perforated “straight-through” pipe. As the sound waves travel in to it, they can travel through the holes in the internal pipe and in to the outside pipe containing some sound deadening material which reduces the sound level and can distort it to cancel itself out. These are usually favored in the performance exhaust systems as the main exhaust stream is basically uninterrupted by the silencer. On some examples this type is actually less restrictive than a normal piece of pipe as the perforated pipe allows the air to flow over it with less friction than a solid pipe.

Some systems do use as combination of both types and changing this greatly affects the sound of the exhaust.

Exhaust Manifold

Heat Wrap & Ceramic Coating

These both try to accomplish the same benefits of each other, just the main difference with heat wrap is it doesn’t really look as nice as a ceramic coating does and needs replacing every so often.

Heat wrap is usually placed round the manifold section of the exhaust, these two modifications help by keeping the temperature high inside the manifold which keeps the gas hotter. This means less energy is taken from the gas and allows it to travel faster through the exhaust, making it easier for the engine to work.

The second benefit of this is it can lower than temperature around the engine bay as most of the heat comes from the exhaust, this will mostly benefit anything nearby the manifold as it won’t be exposed to the high temperatures caused by the exhaust gas.


I really hope this helped people with understanding how an exhaust system can increase and decrease power in your car. Any questions or improvements I can make? Please leave me a comment 🙂






Recomended Oil Toyota – The best oil for your car

Although oil has improved vastly over the past century, it is still extremely important that you use the correct type of oil and grade of oil for you engine / gearbox and for the use your car gets. Here I will explain some useful facts to help people understand why to use quality oil like Shell Helix or manufacture recommended oil, e.g Toyota recommends… etcOil filler cap

The functions and Properties of Oils

Oil is needed in engines and gearboxes as there is many metal moving parts inside of them that slide or rotate against each other, the main point is that the come in to contact or close contact with each other and cause friction and wear.

Without any means of protecting the parts or separating them, they would soon seize up or wear to the point of becoming out of use. Using a lubricant such as oil between them creates a protective barrier between moving parts which reduces friction and wear while also removing some level of heat as well.

A great amount of heat is generated in an internal combustion engine, as part of the purpose of lubrication is to carry the heat away from the moving parts and dissipate it in to the outside air. This feature is enhanced by an additional oil cooler you will sometimes notice (commonly around the oil filter, but not always) that is in a constant flow of air to then carry the heat from the oil out in to the air. In an engine (and automatic gearboxes) the oil is constantly pumped round the engine to ease movement of parts and ensure oil is always circulating through the oil filter and the rest of the oil system.

The oil filter filters out any small parts of metal or dirt in the oil to stop them clogging up oil ways or causing damage to internal parts, this can become full of dirt itself which is why it is important to periodically change this filter and the oil.

Oil level light

Multi-Grade Oil

Oil is not simply just oil. It is made up of roughly 75-90% base oil, usually conventional or synthetic oil, and then 10-25% is made from additives. These additives will change depending on what brand oil you choose, which is one reason that it is important to choose quality brands, which we will get on to later.

The way oil is now made allows it to have the viscosity rating of one grade when cold but another grade when hot. ( e.g SAE 5W-30. This has a viscosity rating of 5 when cold – W is for winter – and 30 when the engine is at operating temperature.) This oil will still be thinner when it is hotter, but not as thin as a single grade oil would be, the example previous will act like a 30 grade oil when hot – so will be as thin as a 30 grade that is hot, this is slightly thinner in comparison to a 5 grade that is cold, but a lot thicker than a 5 grade that is hot, while also acting like a 5 grade only when cold. Hard to understand but I hope I got the point across, if you’re still confused, feel free to ask me a question at the bottom.

This multi-grade oil has a large benefit as most damage inside your engine is caused at a cold start, if the oil is thick then it will take a longer time to be pulled through the oil pump, along the oil galleries and in to the bearings or wherever it needs to be. So ideally you don’t want a thick oil to start your engine on as more damage will take place as the moving parts will not have enough lubrication for a longer amount of time.

Then once the engine is hot and therefor the oil is hot, you don’t want that same oil to of became even thinner (heat making oil less viscous) as it will be pushed out of the bearings and surfaces too easy. The multi-grade oil suits this as it changes how it acts in terms of viscosity to allow a balance of limited damage during a cold start while retaining enough viscosity to properly lubricate parts while hot. Overall this means less damage and your engine will last much longer!


Difference in Different Brand fuels

As mentioned previously, oil is typically made up of 75-90% of the base oil (conventional or synthetic) then 10-25% additives. These additives make a big difference in how long the oil can last, cleaning, cooling and lubrication properties.

Blow-by is where gases escape the combustion chamber past the piston rings and into the crank case and in to the oil, most of this is vented out again but is just one example of how oil can become sludgy when is mixed with the gases, this along with other dirt that can enter an engine over time can degrade the oil. These additives can help suspend carbon or other particles in the oil so when the oil is drained and renewed, they are also drained out the engine.

The better the additives, the better this works. Using Total, Castrol, Shell, Mobil, Penzoil etc oils all claim to do this well whereas some cheaper alternatives may not work quite as well.

What Oil Should I Use?

Almost always you should use the manufacturers specified grade oil, this is because the pump for the oil only creates movement of the oil, the actual oil pressure is from the resistance provided by the oil galleries and bearings etc, this resistance changes with different grade oils, with running a different oil pressure you may not be providing enough / or too much pressure for the internal parts and they could cause metal parts to rub against each other and where or cause seals to leak. Other than heavily modified engines, race engines, or extremely worn engines its best to use what the manufacturer specifies.

If you are one of the Toyota MR2 mk2 owners reading, Toyota recommends 10w-40. Toyota own brand or Shell helix seems to be the most recommended out there. Hopefully soon I shall have links in place of where they can be bought. (Boom! Now i do and have wrote them below, just click on them to take you to Amazon)

>>> Shell Helix Oil here <<<

>>> Genuine Toyota Oil here <<<

Any questions?

If anyone has any questions regarding oil please feel free to ask, even on any car 🙂





The Toyota MR2 mk1 and mk2

Its late on a Friday evening, I cant go to the pub since I start work at midnight tonight, so instead I shall write a small post about mk1 Toyota mr2 and a couple comparisons to the mk2.

Bad Value for Money

Not necessarily a bad thing, as the mk1 (sometimes known as the AW11) is much older and further along with becoming a classic car so the value selling on will also be considerably higher. Double your budget of a decent condition n/a sw20 and you can buy yourself a decent little aw11, for that extra money though you get a smaller engine, less power, smaller car in size and fewer luxuries.

Again, this is not a bad thing, if you like a simpler car then you would actually prefer the mk1 in comparison, personally I do prefer the mk1.

Also, with that extra age comes the extra hassle of trying to find a good one, they are definitely getting rare now, many now will have been scrapped or sold off as parts as this usually ends up giving the owner more cash than selling a low condition car or sometimes even fair condition examples as a whole. Having sold less in the first place compared to the mk2’s as well emphasizes this problem.

The problems with rust obviously occurs over time so is something to definitely look out for when looking in to these little cars as even the youngest models are coming up to 30 years old now. Another obvious thing that happens with cars is they generally get higher and higher mileage (although some magically go thousands of miles backwards) This all happens to every car of course, its just facts to point out for people considering the choice of mk vs mk2, with the same budget your money will go further and realistically you shouldn’t expect the same condition from each car

Things the AW11 Does Well

Feedback! A lot of pure feedback. Driving a mk1 mr2 is an amazing experience of what you want a car to feel like when driving, no power steering either so you get a direct response while steering and the need for power steering isn’t that great anyway with little weight over the front wheels so the downside of no power assisted steering is minimized. ABS doesn’t exist either or a turbo so no waiting for boost, its all a very sensitive, accurate and extremely fun drive.

This does not mean the handling is perfect or they are very fast though. In the end, depending on which model you get they weigh around 1100kg, which is very light but for the size and for what you get is actually pretty heavy and although the 1.6 4 cylinder 4age engines is legendary and has great power for its size and age, its only around 126hp.

Being mid engined and one of the first affordable mid-engined cars you could buy there was some “experimenting” with how they achieved this, it does handle extremely well but with a little over steer eventually occurring. By far though the feel of the drive is the best factor of this car and does it better than almost any other car out there.

Different Models?

The main two models were the mk1a and the mk1b. MK1a began in late 1984 and ended in 1987 and the mk1b through to 1989. There are many differences between the two with subtle exterior and interior changes, mechanical changes such as bigger brakes and lower power output on the mk1b.

Engine options, most were all the n/a 4age but there was an option of the 4agze which has a small supercharger to give around 30hp extra. Extremely rare models known as the aw10 did come with a 1.5l engine but the chances of coming across one of them in the UK is extremely small.

The roof came with the same options as the later sw20. A sunroof, t-bar and rarely a complete tin-top.

Modifying Potential

Yes, kind of. Being old the market is slowly disappearing for readily available performance parts, but a good amount still exist, just not as easy as say the sw20 mr2. Everything from brakes, suspension, gearbox, engine or body styling can be found after a search on google.

The biggest point on modification is the legendary engine given to the mr2. Its is the same engine put in the ae86 Corolla which was massively popular to modify. The A-series engine itself was usually in smaller, less powerful forms which is usually not ideal for modifying but clever ways round this like adding forced induction, 20v heads, or the combination of a 7age block are always of creatively increasing power. There will be millions of examples online to people doing these builds starting with the 4age engine.

This was a bit of a random post to build more content on my website but any questions or ideas you can give me, please let me know and i will try my best to help out.